With deer season coming to an end what are you going to do over the next few months until spring turkey season arrives?
You can plan your food plots; try some shed hunting in another couple weeks, watch the Outdoor Channel and jones over the big bucks those folks harvest or why not try Song Dog (coyote) hunting.
Just the basics
Coyote hunting is quickly becoming a popular pastime for hunters all across North America largely due to the sheer excitement it has to offer. There are few things that can get your adrenaline flowing faster than seeing a coyote rapidly closing on your position in response to the desperate pleas of a distress call.
The goal here is to provide you with some basic strategies that can quickly get you up to speed on the basics of coyote calling, and help you experience the joy of calling coyotes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m by far no expert at yote hunting.
In fact, I’m as green as they come, but I’ve talked with enough guys who do know what they’re doing to pass on their information to you.
Scouting is No. 1
The first and most important item that is crucial to your success at calling coyotes is scouting. It is a simple fact that you can’t call a coyote if there isn’t one there to be called. When you’re out in the field scouting, look for scat and coyote tracks that will indicate coyotes are in the area.
Also, take notes on where you repeatedly see coyotes, as these will be areas that you will want to target with your calling. Landowners are great resources to give you hints on where they are seeing coyotes on their land and where they feel would be good places to call.
Look for areas that have a high concentration of the coyote’s prey, such as rabbits, prairie dogs, deer, and mice. If you seek out these types of areas, you’re sure to find coyotes.
Setup is No. 2
Second in line for success at calling coyotes is set-up. How you set-up (position yourself) on stand to call is critical. Pay close attention to the direction of the wind at all times. The coyote’s sense of smell is highly adapted, and should not be ignored.
When setting up, make sure you position yourself either with the wind directly in your face or with a crosswind. Coyotes are notorious for circling downwind to gain scent advantage, so the ideal set-up would be with a crosswind and sufficient open area downwind to see any circling coyotes. It helps if you can hunt with a friend, and position him/her downwind to get any coyotes that circle your position.
If you have one of the new remote controlled digital callers on the market, you can position the call upwind of your position and therefore be in the perfect position, as the coyote begins to circle. Just don’t position it to far away in case the coyote does decide to come directly into the position of the caller. It is also important to call with the sun at your back.
This makes it more difficult for the coyote to see you, as they have to look directly into the sun when they approach. Another important aspect for setting up is to try and position yourself in the shade. By being in the shade, this will help conceal your position and make it more difficult for the coyote to see you.
Now, putting all these items together would certainly be the perfect scenario, but in reality this isn’t always possible. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the position of the sun or your ability to sit in the shade in order to call a prime location.
However, never sacrifice wind direction in order to call an area. If the wind isn’t right, wait to call that area another day.
No. 3 is camo
The third item for successful coyote calling is camouflage. It is important to try and blend into your surroundings by matching your camouflage to the terrain you hunt. It is also critical to cover all exposed skin, including your face. Human skin is highly reflective and coyotes will pick up on this. Test this out for yourself by having a friend dress in full camouflage except for a face mask, and then have him conceal himself as if he were hunting. Now, step back several yards and see how easily he is to pick out. Now try the same experiment with your friend wearing a facemask. I bet you will be surprised at the difference. Another important component of camouflaging yourself is to limit movement when on stand. Coyotes have keen eyesight and will pick up on the slightest movement. If you must move, do so slow and deliberately.
Last but certainly not least, is the actual act of calling itself. Many of you may be surprised that I saved this for last. Don’t get me wrong, making the right sound is very important and you could be producing the most mournful distressed rabbit sound the coyote has ever heard, but unless you do all the above items correctly your chance of bagging it are greatly reduced.
Learning how to use a mouth blown rabbit in distress call is a relatively simple task. Any of the calls on the market today are likely to work for you. If you don’t know the correct sound to make, try buying one of the many videos on coyote calling that are on the market or buy a CD or cassette tape with a live rabbit in distress sound on it and practice along with it.
Many beginners make the mistake of thinking they have to sound perfect in order to call a coyote. The truth of the matter is the coyote doesn’t care. As long as you sound like an animal in distress, you’re likely to get the attention of a coyote.
The interesting thing about calling coyotes is that no two people sound exactly alike when using a particular call, but the sounds are all effective, and yours likely will be, too.
And another thing
One other topic that hasn’t been mentioned is how long to call at each location. This depends on a lot of factors, but my contacts say to stay 30 minutes on each stand, especially when calling an open area. If you live in an area that is heavily wooded, you may only stay on stand 10-15 minutes because the sound won’t travel as far. When you are calling you will want to call for short interva
For example, call for 20-30 seconds, wait 2 minutes, and repeat. Do this for the duration your on the stand.
Now get out there
As I said in the beginning these are the basics you will need to become a successful coyote caller and hunter. Study them closely and then get out in the field and call some coyotes. Once you do and you harvest your first Song Dog, I am sure you will be hooked. You might even want to sign up for the Coyote Roundup listed below!
Good luck and good hunting.
Drop Tine Doosy
On the morning of Jan. 5, Shawn Evangelista and his son Logan took a ride out to check his trail cams. He had been getting quite a few pictures of a buck he had been after for some years now! When he got home, he was happy to see that his last picture of him was at 6:55 a.m. Shawn knew he was close and hopefully, today, would be his lucky day.
Ready for action
That evening there was a south west wind so Shawn had to adjust from his normal stand set up and go in with his climber. He got set up about 3:45 p.m. that evening and was ready for action. It didn’t take long and the deer were on the move. He watched several does with a young 9 point trailing them pass by around 4:30p.m., still no Drop Tine Doosy.
At around 4:50 p.m., he saw another group of deer headed down the ridge. With fresh snow, he could see a large bodied deer trailing them.
As they closed the distance Shawn could see it was the one that had he had been after, “Drop Tine Doosy.” As he ambled his way towards Shawn he walked right by at 15 yards, he was in perfect position, Shawn took the shot, quartering away. He new he had hit him form his body movements and reactions, but Shawn was 30 feet in the air, and couldn’t tell where. As he watched, his trophy ran off 100 yards then lost sight of him.
Even though the suspense was killing him Shawn stayed in his stand until dark. Once he finally climbed down he retrieved his arrow, it was a clean pass through. Shawn quickly got on the phone and made a call his good friend Dave Allen. Dave advised him to get out of there and give him some time. Shawn did just that and drove home where he waited anxiously for Dave to arrive.
Hands on prize
Being that it was such a steep angled shot they gave him 3 hours before heading in to track him. They quickly got on his tracks; however there was no blood for the first 100 yards, Shawn was beginning to worry. How could a clean pass through with a Rage broadhead not produce any blood?
Nevertheless, they kept at it and after another 50 yards or so they finally got some good sign, Drop Tine Doosy had fallen down in the snow, and then the blood started. He made it another 100 yards, plus or minus, and then came to rest.
Finally, after years of pictures and close encounters, Shawn had his hands on the prize. Shawn said in closing since he had finally harvested his arch nemesis that it was now time to kill some coyotes at the Coyote Roundup.
Shawn Evangelista harvested his “Drop Tine Doosy” monster buck on Jan. 5, 2012 while hunting is Austinburg during the Ohio late archery season. His bow of choice was a Hoyt Katera with a 29-inch draw length and 70 pound pull pushing out Carbon Express Maximum Hunter 350 arrows powered by 100 grain Rage 2 blade mechanical broadheads.
He was perched 30 feet up in his API grand slam climbing tree stand and wearing Mossy Oak camo. Drop Tine Doosy was at 15 yards when he arrowed him and went another 275 before expiring. Drop Tine Doosy has 12 scoreable points and is estimated to weigh in at 225 pounds. Shawn checked him in via the ODNR’s new internet system.
The Maple Country Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation presents its third annual Coyote Open, Feb 18-20, up to $300 matched Pot, plus 50/50 split on entry fee, preregistration is required. New this year: Dog Category or Open Hunt Category. Contact: Bill Trump 983-7231, Tony Bitner 221-9786, Adam Hollobaugh 313-7406, Matt McDermott (330) 221-3063 or register onLine at www.maplecountrynwtf.com.
Ashtabula Rod & Gun Club will be cranking up a new indoor archery league starting on Feb. 6. This will be an 80 percent handicap league open to the public at the Ashtabula Rod & Gun Club grounds. Open shoots will be every Tuesday starting at 6:30 p.m. It’s a 20-yard indoor range and the fee is $5 per hour. Call Mike Schuber for more details at 855-1417.
Peoples Church of the CMA will be holding its annual Wild Game Dinner on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. The premeal seminar will start at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be serves at 6 p.m. The guest speaker this year will be Gary Miller of the Outdoors Truth Ministry. Tickets are $15 per person, presale only, no tickets sales at the door. For information or tickets contact the church office. People’s Church of CMA, 300 South Ridge East, Geneva, 44041. Phone 466-2020.
Remember, pass it on or it will surely pass on.
Sunderlin is a freelance writer from Geneva. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With deer season coming to an end what are you going to do over the next few months until spring turkey season arrives?
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